Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Night of the Baskervilles

It's still quiet here at Roundtop, though Baby Dog has a way of making her own excitement. This morning she found a toad to chase and better still, a dead groundhog that in her mind was a Big, Hairy Monster.
Groundhogs are something of a pest around the ski slopes. I don't mind them as much as Roundtop's staff seems to, but I can sympathize to a degree. One groundhog took up residence in a hole it excavated next to a storm water run-off grate. I'm not sure how the hog accomplished this since the grate is at the edge of a paved road, but somehow it did, creating a prairie dog-like exit hole and mound at the edge of the parking lot. Obviously, this location could cause problems for any number of legitimate reasons.
Baby Dog has had to investigate both these particular holes every morning all summer as we walk out to the main road for our newspaper. Sometimes she even freezes on point like a hunting dog. Removing that hog seems a matter of safety, though when it comes to most of the rest of them, I'm willing to let them alone. Roundtop seems to disagree and routinely tries to eliminate them, without much long-term evidence of success.
So it wasn't really a surprise when we came across one that been killed and then tossed into what should have been an out of the way spot, though nothing is really out of the way for Baby Dog. All I can say is that it's a good thing we don't live in a town or with close neighbors. Baby Dog saw that dead groundhog, and at 5:46 in the a.m. let out a howl and a roar that could have qualified her as the lead in the Hound of the Baskervilles. Her cry of outrage was likely heard in the next county. Truthfully, it never occurred to me that so much noise could come out of one little dog. It was a long, deep keening kind of sound that made me jump so that I nearly dropped the leash. It was a noise that should have come out of an animal three times her size.
Animals and birds that were still asleep suddenly stampeded in all directions away from us, which frankly only added to the din.
Did I say there was no excitement around here at the moment? The next time I get bored, I'll just remember to bring Baby Dog along with me. The quiet won't last very long.


Lynne said...

Don't you wonder what went through Baby Dog's mind? I'll bet she really gave the wild critters a start!

Carolyn H said...


I'd love to know what Baby dog was thinking. I'm pretty sure the dead, unmoving groundhog scare her, too, which is where that deep howl came from. I sort of think she was warning the world that she was about to get killed by a Big Hairy Monster.

Carolyn H.